I was disappointed the day Murkowski was elected and I have been disappointed everyday since. I stood helplessly by and watched a candidate who touted the praises of oil development and no taxes to stabilize the Alaskan economy become governor of the place that I call home.
I couldnt believe it. Here was a man who stood in front of the entire state of Alaska and tap danced around the issues with one reply, " I dont have to answer that." I watched in a mixture of disgust and nausea as he hooked more and more Alaskans with promises worthy of the most skilled horse trader.
I have to wonder if all his campaign promises where just an elaborate song and dance meant solely for the entertainment of the masses. In 2000, a co-worker told me that the reason that she was voting for Murkowski is because he was the lesser of two evils. Imagine her surprise when she lost her job two months later when the Anchorage Community schools budget was cut. I guess you might say that she voted herself out of a job. We will never forget the shot Brittany and Madonna slipping each other the tongue at the Mtv music awards, but most of us have completely forgotten the Murkowski campaign promises.
In light of here-and-now-short-term-memory society that America has become, it does not amaze me that not many can remember our current governor's campaign promises that he so eloquently waxed while on the campaign trail. Many might not remember. Then again there are a lot who do. I am one of those people.
During the 2000 gubernatorial debates against then Lt. Gov Fran Ulmer, Frank Murkowski built his platform on these main topics: development of all of Alaskas natural recourses, including the development of ANWAR, increasing the education opportunities for the children of Alaska, not using the Permanente Fund Dividend, and the development of jobs for rural Alaskans.
He consistently criticized Lt. Governor Ulmer, stating that the reason that the Democrats needed to use the dividend was due to the misuse of taxpayers funds. However, once elected his plans changed. At least Fran Ulmer was honest. She told us up front that money was going to have to come from somewhere in order to supplement Alaskas economy. Ulmer talked about a state income tax, higher property taxes to pay for Alaskas schools and possibly the Permanent Fund to help narrow the Alaskan governments fiscal gap.
Murkowski laughed, he looked directly into the camera and said, "To me creating a state income tax is taking money out of the pockets of Alaskans and putting it back into the deep, deep pockets of government officials." Recently during the Conference of Alaskans, a conference that he put together to decide how to use the dividend for Alaskas fiscal gap, Governor Murkowski stated that he would support all issues recently suggested by a special session of the legislature to put before the voters in November. Oh that Frank, hes a sly one. He supports a state income tax, but he did not suggest it nor have anything to do the process. Nice work, Frank.
Everyday our governor cuts funds from education, social services, mental health, and the elderly. The hard cold reality of the situation is he is taking help from those who are unable to help themselves. Instead of holding our children up to the "No Child Left Behind" standards, Frank would rather revise the plan, cut the educational budget, lay off teachers, increase sizes of already overcrowded classrooms and then act like its no big deal. Maybe by lowering the education standards of Alaskas children it assures that Governor Murkowski, his daughter, and his special interests capitalists comrades will be in office for a very long time. Brilliant move Frank.
Since becoming Alaskas governor our friend Frank has consistently promoted the interest of special interest groups over the interests of Alaskans. But who cares about them pesky voters anyhow, right Frank? You are in office and theres not a damn thing we can do about it. Tell us Mr. Murkowskihow does it feel to be king?
Let's not forget the despair of the elderly Alaskans who recently lost their longevity bonus. The generations that built this state are now receiving a mere one hundred and twenty dollars a month to live on due to the loss of this much needed monthly check. The longevity bonus was supposed to be a thank you from the state. It was the main means of support for some, if not most, of the elderly in our state.
Appeals have been passed before the governor and his cabinet many times since the cut of the bonus in early 2003 to raise the amount received by Alaskas elderly citizens. Oh sure, the Republicans of Alaska would like to dazzle the public by telling us that the initiative has been passed to cut the amount of money senior citizens will have to pay for medications. Now they just need the money to buy these medications. Who pays your medical bills Frank?
Frank Murkowski would like us to believe that Alaska simply does not have the resources to fund the Longevity Bonus Program. But yet, he calls a special session of the legislature to decide what to do with the voters PFDs. What the hell? Alaska cannot pay to help the elderly but we can afford to pay fifty of his friends to decide what to do with money Governor Murkowski PROMISED not to touch. It seems to me that this special legislature session ought to be titled " Jobs Program for Friends of Frank Murkowski." Some might say that perhaps I am being a bit too harsh on Mr. Murkowski. But am I really? Out of fifty Alaskans on the panel--not one of then is a single parent, a Sr. Citizen, teacher, or college student. What? He deems us smart enough to vote for him but we are not smart enough to help decided what to do with our states resources.
Time and time again the citizens of Alaskans have said HELL NO apparently to the deaf ears and blind eyes of the governing body. But yet, our governor Frank Murkowski poses the question again. I wonder which part he doesnt understand - the N or the O? One would think that before becoming governor that knowledge of the alphabet would be a requirement.
I implore all who reads this to ask themselves, what has Frank Murkowski really done for Alaskans? Other than his friends and his daughter. Where are our new jobs? Ive looked every part of the state; I cant seem to find them --other than in Anchorage. Looking for rural job growth is something akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. What about the higher educational standards and new programs that he so eloquently sold to the public on the campaign trail?
Perhaps his program included less educational funding and larger class sizes for under-paid and overworked teachers in the first place; perhaps he just forgot to mention all this when he was running for office in the first place. Perhaps we should all go to down town Juneau (should Mr.Murkowski ever leave Anchorage) and ask him, "Wheres the love Frank?"